Solar is the world’ fastest-growing energy source.
That’s because it is renewable, sustainable, and available in abundance.
Solar panels can use the power of the sun to power your home. This can help to protect the planet, and save you money.
But what is solar energy, and how do solar panels work? Keep reading to find out more.
What Is Solar Energy?
Solar energy is fuel that is powered by the sun.
It is the most abundant source of energy on earth. Approximately 173,000 terawatts of solar energy hits the Earth at all times. That’s more than 10,000 times the amount of energy that the world uses.
Solar energy is sustainable, requires little maintenance, and will keep itself going for an incredibly long period.
That’s why solar energy is a form of renewable energy. We can continue to use it without having to refuel or renew it or fear that it is going to run out.
This is very different from fossil fuels, such as gas, coal, and oil. These fuels are not renewable. There is a finite amount of them on Earth, that will eventually run out.
Fossil fuels also require constant refueling, maintenance, and cause extreme damage to our planet because of the carbon emissions that they generate.
That’s why solar energy is an important and effective way to combat climate change and meet the planet’s energy needs.
Solar panels are used to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity, to use in your home. But how do they work?
Step 1: Solar Panels Are Installed
Solar panels are installed in an area that receives a lot of sunlight. This is usually your roof or a high area that isn’t blocked by shadows.
Most solar panels have a tempered glass casing. This glass is extremely strong and durable. It protects the technology inside and can withstand extreme wind and weather.
Solar panels also include a layer for insulation and a protective black sheet. This protects prevents heat and humidity from building up inside the panel. This helps to make sure that the solar panel works efficiently and effectively.
Modern solar panels are sealed with an anti-reflective coating. This increases the amount of sunlight that the panels can absorb.
Step 2: Solar Panels Absorb Sunlight
Each solar panel contains photovoltaic (PV) cells. PV cells are made up of atoms. Atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
When the PV cells absorb the sunlight, the solar energy moves the electrons. This creates a flow of electric current.
The electric current that is created is called direct current (DC) electricity. This is called the photovoltaic effect and was discovered in 1839.
Step 3: Inverters Convert Solar Energy To Useful Electricity
The DC electricity generated can’t power your home on its own.
Solar panels also contain wires and solar inverters. The wires transport the DC electricity to these solar inverters.
Here, the DC electricity is converted to alternating current (AC) electricity. This is used by most household appliances and can be used to power your home.
Step 4: Solar Electricity Is Used in Your Home
The AC electricity that your solar panels have generated then runs through your home. This usually enters your home through your net meter, which will be installed at the same time as your solar panels.
Solar electricity works like traditional electricity. You don’t need to change anything; all of your appliances will work in the same way.
Step 5: Leftover Solar Electricity Goes To the Grid
Although you now have solar panels, you will still stay attached to the traditional power grid. This is where you used to get your electricity from.
This means that you can send excess power to the grid. For example, on a sunny day during summer, your solar system may generate more electricity than you need. So, this extra electricity is sent to the traditional power grid.
Later, you can use the power grid if your solar panels don’t produce enough energy. Your solar panels will create less electricity during the night, or on cloudy days because there will be less sunlight to absorb. During these times, you can automatically draw more energy from the grid as needed.
Step 6: Solar Electricity Is Measured by the Net Meter
Your net meter measures the amount of electrical energy that you give and take from the grid.
This means that you can sign an agreement with your local utility company. You can get credit for the excess energy you supply to the grid (for example, on sunny days). You then use these credits for the energy that you take from the grid (such as the energy you use during the night).
Step 7: How Can Solar Energy Save Me Money?
The solar panels on your home mean that you will be creating some of your own electricity. Therefore, you will need less from the traditional power grid. So, you will have to pay less.
The exact amount of money you will save depends on many things. This includes:
- The size of your house
- How many people live in your house
- The amount of electricity that your household uses
- The size of your solar energy system
- The amount of direct sunlight that your system receives
- The incentives available in your area
- The solar agreement you sign with your local utility company
If you live in the Frisco area, Blue Raven Solar can help you understand the savings that you can make by going solar.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels can be installed quickly, easily, and for a reasonable price. They then follow these steps to convert sunlight into electrical energy to power your home.
Installing solar panels can help save money and combat the world’s climate challenges.
So, how do solar panels work? Now you know! Take a look at some of our other articles to learn about more.